Malpractice Reform in Health Care Deal?

Sep 9, 2009 6:00am

ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: Republicans have long pushed for limits on malpractice lawsuits – what advocates call malpractice reform.  It’s a central element of any Republican health care plan. But to Democrats and their trial lawyer supporters, the idea has been a non-starter. Now, it seems, malpractice reform may be back in play. The reason: Olympia Snowe, the sole Republican Senator who seems inclined to support Democrats on health care reform, wants it. Snowe told me today she likes proposal put forward by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus.  “There’s a lot of promising elements in it,” she said. “It’s a work in progress.”  When I asked what she wants changed, she said she’d like to see it include malpractice reform, which she called critical to controlling health care costs. To Democrats malpractice reform may be too a steep price to pay, but Snowe right now may be the only way Democrats get the 60 votes they need in the Senate. 

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